Critical review of emotional intelligence research studies in the construction industry

Augustine Senanu Komla Kukah, De Graft Owusu-Manu, David Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Even though emotional intelligence (EI) is reported to have many benefits, yet it remains mainly unexplored in the construction industry. This paper aims to present a critical review of EI research in the construction industry. Design/methodology/approach: Search of literature was conducted by using Scopus engine. Relevant keywords were used to discover 146 publications. The titles, abstracts, keywords and full texts of the publications were examined to finally select 48 publications that were relevant. Scientometric analysis was undertaken with the aid of VOSViewer. Content analysis systematically reviewed the key themes. Findings: The five topmost countries conducting research into EI in the construction industry are UK, Australia and the USA. The most influential authors in construction EI research are Goleman, D., Salovey, P. and Mayer, J.D. The significant impact of EI on leadership in the construction industry were that EI boosted transformational leadership style and EI influenced use of management-by-exception active style by construction leaders. Furthermore, EI leads to resilience against stress and EI enhances stress tolerance were the significant roles of EI on stress management. Research limitations/implications: A limitation is in the number of publications reviewed. In spite of the critical review, the number of publications reviewed may not be exhaustive. Practical implications: This research enhances knowledge and stimulates a deeper comprehension of EI research and also provides recommendations for further studies based on identified research gaps. Originality/value: As a pioneering study that combines scientometrics and systematic review for EI research, this study enhances knowledge on EI in the construction industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1925-1947
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2023


  • Construction industry
  • Construction management
  • Construction project management
  • Content analysis
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Scientometric review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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